MTG: Q4 & Full Year 2012 Report

STOCKHOLM--()--Regulatory News:

Modern Times Group MTG AB (publ.) (“MTG” or “the Group”) (Nasdaq OMX Stockholm Large Cap Market: MTGA, MTGB) today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended 31 December 2012.

Increased Dividend & Ongoing Investments to Drive Growth

Fourth Quarter Highlights

  • Net sales of SEK 3,620 (3,711) million – stable year on year at constant exchange rates
  • Operating income of SEK 514 (551) million when excluding associated company income and Q4 2011 non-recurring items
  • Total operating income of SEK 476 (-2,515) million when including SEK -38 (116) million of associated company income and SEK -3,182 million of Q4 2011 non-recurring items
  • Pre-tax profit of SEK 467 (-2,519) million including SEK -7 (43) million negative non-cash impact of change in value of option element of CDON convertible bond
  • Net income of SEK 378 (-2,564) million and basic earnings per share of SEK 5.25 (-38.87)
  • Cash flow from operations up 12% year on year to SEK 583 (519) million and net debt reduced quarter on quarter to SEK 1 million from SEK 634 million in Q3 2012

Full Year Highlights

  • Net sales of SEK 13,336 (13,473) million – up 1% year on year at constant exchange rates
  • Operating income of SEK 1,695 (1,933) million when excluding associated company income and Q4 2011 non-recurring items
  • Total operating income of SEK 2,124 (-615) million when including SEK 429 (634) million of associated company income and SEK -3,182 million of Q4 2011 non-recurring items
  • Pre-tax profit of SEK 2,034 (-727) million including SEK -15 (14) million negative non-cash impact of change in value of option element of CDON convertible bond
  • Net income of SEK 1,594 (-1,289) million and basic earnings per share of SEK 22.93 (-19.98)
  • Cash flow from operations of SEK 1,655 (1,853) million and net debt reduced to SEK 1 (797) million
  • In line with dividend policy to distribute at least 30% of recurring net profit to shareholders as an annual ordinary dividend, Board of Directors to propose 11% increase in annual ordinary cash dividend to SEK 10.00 (9.00) per share to AGM in May 2013

Forward Expectations

As previously announced, the Group continues to expect its Nordic pay-TV business to grow its revenues at constant exchange rates in 2013, and to report an operating (EBIT) margin of approximately 10-12% for the full year 2013. The segment margin is expected to increase in 2014.

The Group also continues to expect the previously announced investments in its Emerging Market pay-TV operations to result in lower profitability levels in 2013 and expects rising profitability levels in 2014. However, when combining the Group’s decision to reduce its investments in its Ukrainian pre-paid satellite service, as the package and pricing structures are reviewed in the context of a highly competitive market environment, with higher ingoing mini-pay subscription balances at the beginning of the year, the segment is expected to achieve a breakeven EBIT result for the full year 2013. This compares with the Group’s previous expectations for the segment to report an operating (EBIT) loss of less than SEK 50 million for the full year 2013.

Increased Dividend Payment

The Board of Directors will propose an increased annual ordinary dividend of SEK 10.00 (9.00) per share to the Annual General Meeting of shareholders to be held on 14 May 2013 to approve. The total proposed dividend payment would therefore amount to approximately SEK 667 million, based on the maximum potential number of outstanding ordinary shares. The Board of Directors will propose that the remainder of the Group’s retained earnings for the year ended 31 December 2012 be carried forward into the accounts for 2013.

The proposal is in line with the dividend policy adopted by the Board of Directors in February 2012 to distribute a minimum of 30 per cent of each year’s recurring net profit to shareholders in the form of an annual ordinary dividend.

Comment from President & CEO

Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“The sales growth for our continuing operations in the fourth quarter primarily reflected the strong competitive positions of our emerging markets businesses, which took advertising market shares and grew their subscriber bases in almost all of our operating territories. This reflects the investments that we have made in our content offerings and the development of our channel brands.”

“As previously announced, we are now investing across a number of our businesses, and will do so throughout 2013, to ensure that our growth accelerates in the future. We have continued to innovate across our territories with new content, technologies, channels and services, and we are today offering our viewers, listeners and customers more high quality entertainment than ever before in more ways than ever before.”

“Scandinavian free-TV ratings improvements are more in focus than ever and we have now signed a number of strategically important channel distribution agreements, which will significantly boost the audience and advertising market shares for our free-TV channels in Denmark, enable us to launch a third free-TV channel in Norway and further boost the penetration of TV10 in Sweden. Our Viaplay Nordic online pay-TV service is performing well and growing rapidly, while our Nordic satellite platform and pay-TV channel offerings will benefit over time from the new content and channels that we are adding, as well as broader distribution and rising prices.”

“The Q4 results reflect both the investments that we are making and the measures that we are constantly taking to enhance our operating performance. We are on track with our development plan for the Nordic pay-TV business, while a combination of higher ingoing mini-pay subscription balances and lower investments in Ukraine is currently expected to result in an improved full year 2013 result for our emerging markets pay-TV business. We continue to anticipate improved profitability levels for our Nordic and emerging market pay-TV businesses in 2014.”

“Our asset light business model and strict working capital management have continued to generate high cash conversion levels, which have left us with almost zero net debt at the year end. This is why we are proposing to raise the annual ordinary dividend payment despite the investments that we are making. MTG is a growth company and we are focused on building the media house of the future by investing in growing businesses. We are therefore reviewing a wide range of organic investment projects, acquisition opportunities and potential co-operations in both our existing and new markets.”

* * *

Conference Call

The company will host a conference call today at 15.00 Stockholm local time, 14.00 London local time and 09.00 New York local time. To participate in the conference call, please dial:

Sweden:   +46(0)8 5352 6408
UK: +44(0)20 7136 2051
US: +1646 254 3360

The access pin code for the call is 4080855

To listen to the conference call online and for further information please visit www.mtg.se.

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Forward-looking information and Safe Harbour Statement under the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

This report contains forward-looking information based on the current expectation of MTG management. Although management deems that the expectations presented by such forward-looking information are reasonable, such forward-looking information is subject to risks and uncertainties and no guarantee can be given that these expectations will prove correct. Accordingly, the actual future outcome could vary considerably when compared to what is stated in the forward-looking information, due to such factors as described above in the Risks & Uncertainties section.

Modern Times Group (MTG) is an international entertainment broadcasting group with operations that span four continents and include free-TV, pay-TV, radio and content production businesses. MTG’s Viasat Broadcasting operates free-TV and pay-TV channels, which are available on Viasat’s own satellite platforms and third party networks, and also distributes TV content over the internet. MTG is also the largest shareholder in CTC Media, which is Russia’s leading independent television broadcaster.

Modern Times Group is a growth company and generated net sales of SEK 13.3 billion in 2012. MTG’s Class A and B shares are listed on Nasdaq OMX Stockholm’s Large Cap index under the symbols ‘MTGA’ and ‘MTGB’.

The information in this Full Year report is that which Modern Times Group MTG AB is required to disclose under the Securities Market Act and/or the Financial Instruments Trading Act. It was released for publication at 13.00 CET on 13 February 2013.

This information was brought to you by Cision http://www.cisionwire.com

Contacts

Please visit www.mtg.se, or contact:
Jørgen Madsen Lindemann
President & Chief Executive Officer
or
Mathias Hermansson, Chief Financial Officer
Tel: +46 (0) 8 562 000 50
or
Matthew Hooper, Head of Corporate Communications
Tel: +44 (0) 7768 440 414
Email: investor.relations@mtg.se / press@mtg.se

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Contacts

Please visit www.mtg.se, or contact:
Jørgen Madsen Lindemann
President & Chief Executive Officer
or
Mathias Hermansson, Chief Financial Officer
Tel: +46 (0) 8 562 000 50
or
Matthew Hooper, Head of Corporate Communications
Tel: +44 (0) 7768 440 414
Email: investor.relations@mtg.se / press@mtg.se